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Archive by June, 2008

My [public] Space: Exhibition Text by Petra Heck

Image by Eduardo Navas, December, 2007

Note: Diary of a Star was part of the exhibition “My [public] Space” in Amsterdam, from May 23 to June 21, 2008. The premise behind the exhibition in part follows the line of thought originally developed for Diary of a Star. Thanks to Petra Heck for including my work in the show.

Diary of a star context: http://navasse.net/star/Context.html

Full text of exhibition follows below. Source: nimk.nl

May 16, 2008

With Twitter, a new application in Web 2.0, all you have to do is push a button to send a message to all the people you have promoted to your social network. The idea is that you indicate where you are, so that you can be ‘followed’ physically or mentally. The question is what need we have for a service like that. Do we really want to make everything public, known “and traceable”.

Andy Warhol was doing it already in the 1970s: showing and sharing as many insignificant details as possible. His magazine Interview was full of transcriptions of inane conversations; every telephone call was important enough to tape or write up. The desire ? and the means ? to be visible everywhere at all times was invented by Warhol in the same decade. With the arrival of Web 2.0 the internet makes this possible for everybody, not just for superstars like Edie Sedgwick, who in Warhol’s Screentest films doesn’t do much more than smoke, chatter and sneeze: nothing special. Forty years later there are suddenly millions of people watching television programs like Big Brother, in which people off the street are filmed sleeping, eating and talking about not much in particular.

With the advent of Web 2.0 powerful media are no longer necessary for realizing a relative ?15 minutes of fame?. Bloggers (webloggers) report every detail of their lives in an online diary that anybody can call up and read on their computer. The difference between an online blog and an old-fashioned diary is that online the content is being revealed for an unknown audience. The dividing line between private and public gets blurred. The text can be rather personal, while still functioning in the public domain. Since bloggers are implicitly aware of this, the information can be regarded as being tainted. The dichotomy between public and private that so interested Andy Warhol becomes visible here.*


The State of Swift Production: Interactivos?’08 (part 3 of 3), by Eduardo Navas

Image: Anaisa Franco, Testing software for “Expanded Eye”

See Part 1: http://remixtheory.net/?p=315
See Part 2: http://remixtheory.net/?p=319

Interactivos?’08-Madrid promoted Vision-play as a point of entry to reflect on how interactivity is redefining aesthetics in art particularly invested in emerging technologies. The Medialab-Prado website presented the two week work intensive series of events as a “workshop [that] aims to use open hardware and open code tools to create prototypes for exploring image technologies and mechanisms of perception.”[1]

To provide a rigorous contextual ground following this premise as a frame of reference for artists and collaborators, the Medialab organized a two day long conference in which artists presented their projects and scholars and writers presented papers focused on the ongoing changes of the image (vision-play) in contemporary art production. On the first day Marta Morales presented “Caída del juego: lo inaparente en la imagen” (Fall of the Game: The Inapparent in the Image), a text in which she explored the void of experience leaning towards the sublime in the work of Giacommeti; she examined his work from drawings to sculptures. I followed with “The Bond of Repetition and Representation,” in which I outlined previously introduced definitions of Remix and their links to the ongoing play between repetition and representation in digital media. Nadine Wanono then discussed her research on Visual Anthropology in “The Camera and The Perspective, as Tool and Metaphor.” In her talk she questioned the supposed objectivity of perspective, both formally and conceptually, when anthropologists study non-western cultures. Wanono’s presentation consisted of selected research she performed in Mali, West Africa, where she spent many years with the Dogon people. And the evening ended with Domingo Sarrey who presented “Cuadrats 40 años después” (Quadrats, 40 Years Later). Sarrey took the evening when he made many Spaniards in the audience aware about art and computer science explorations that took place in Madrid during the sixties. Sarrey was one of the first artists in Madrid to use the computer to develop drawings during that time period. (more…)

The State of Swift Production: Interactivos?’08 (part 2 of 3), by Eduardo Navas

Image: Interactivos?’08 Collaborators, June 14, 2008 (click to view larger image)

See Part 1: http://remixtheory.net/?p=315

The projects for Interactivos?’08 were completed on Saturday June 14, just in time for the exhibition opening scheduled for 6:30 PM. When the project proposals were initially presented during the first two days of the workshops and lectures of May 30 and 31, it was quite understandable if anyone in the audience, and even among the collaborators and artists doubted the completion of the proposals in just two weeks, given their complexity. Fortunately, all projects were up and running.

The key element to meet the deadline was the fact that artists did not work alone, as some people may expect of studio artists, who from time to time might hire or “collaborate” with say a printmaker, or a metalcaster. In Interactivos?’08 collaborators had an incredibly important role to play in, both, decision making as well as actual execution of the works. How much this was so of course varied from project to project, but it is safe to say that there was a certain consensus in the air which was that artists and collaborators live up to the possibility of working together for a common goal, and that they truly contribute in all levels of the creative process, even if some of the work developed did not become part of the final product. Had artists and collaborators not believed this, the selected projects would not have been completed on time, if at all. Upon asking many participants about their role in the overall production of the projects, this sense of contribution was confirmed.


The State of Swift Production: Interactivos?’08 (part 1 of 3), by Eduardo Navas

Image: Medialab Prado. Image of Julian Oliver’s “Levelhead,” 2008, projecting part of the Medialab workspace. First version “Unprepared Architecture” of Oliver’s project was developed in Interactivos?07 in collaboration with Simone Jones.

Medialab Prado when described to anyone unfamiliar with the art space appears to be a utopia for collaborative media production that would only function in theory. However, as those who have participated in past events can attest, the lab in practice is quite successful, and has produced some strong projects which have been exhibited in various venues soon after their completion in the two week workshops.

The premise behind the lab is to accept project proposals around a thematic, relevant to contemporary cultural production. Once projects are selected, collaborators are invited to work with the artists. The projects are complemented with a series of talks, which usually take place during the first days. The whole process ends with an exhibition of the finished proposals in the Medialab itself, which changes from a working studio space into an exhibition space. In just two weeks artists and collaborators can produce intricate works ready to be exhibited professionally.

There are five lines of work scheduled year-round: Interactivos?, Visualizar, Inclusiva, Commons Lab and AVLAB. All five with a specialized focus that allows participants to work fast and with precision. The result is an impressive number of projects that explore some of the most pronounced interests in emerging fields currently at play across the global new media community, from experimental sound to interactive video installation.

Interactivos?08 is the current line of work, taking place from May 30 to June 15, 2008. The thematic for this round is Vision-play. Interactivos?08 started with a series of historical and theoretical presentations by writers and artists invested in the concept of play in visual culture. The presentations of the accepted projects were successfully mixed with the theoretical presentations making obvious the necessity to have both theory and practice closely bound as part of the creative process. Interactivos?08 also offers two more important theoretical lectures on Thursdays of both weeks.

The art projects this year explore the ever-evolving definition of interaction in the aesthetics of the work of art in terms of play (hence the theme “vision-play”). The selected projects include simulation of the human face on a hacked mirror in “M.A.S.K. (My Alter Self Konciousness)” – Jordi Puig; an unconventional record of lapse of time with the use of solar energy and sand, reminiscent of sand clocks in “Spiral Drawing Sunrise” – Esther Polak; a series of open source videos designed to evolve online in “Bloop” – Martín Nadal; the exploration of performance for oneself as well as others when a person manipulates random imagery by using a swing in “Stage Fright” – Nova Jiang; the conundrum of music and art known as synesthesia in “360º score” – Philippe Chatelain; culture’s ongoing obsession with accessing a single experience from multiple points of camera views in “Immodesty” – Karolina Sobecka; augmented reality as a space that reconsiders elements of gaming and real life as repetition, following the Droste effect in “Daedalus_ex_Machina [DexM]” – Walter Langelaar; the repetitive reflection of the human condition with the recognition of one’s eye (reminiscent of Tony Ousler) in “Expanded Eye” – Anaísa Franco, reconsideration of the act of seeing with geographical tools used for a critical yet personal global vision in “augment(0)scope” – Eloi Maduell; and the remixing of the Zoetrope as a domesticated mechanical ‘live’ and ‘smart’ pet in “Biophionitos” – Paola Guimerans, Horacio González, Igor González.

At the moment, the projects are in full production. Artists and collaborators are currently testing software and hardware before committing to more elaborate physical construction. The projects’ sophistication is further informed by the expertise of practicing artists Alvaro Casinelli, Daniel Canogar, Simone Jones, Julian Oliver and Pablo Valbuena. In only a week the projects will be finished and a lively audience during an art opening will be able to experience works of art that were developed with great sophistication and unprecedented efficiency. Two qualities of cultural production which in the not so distant past were often considered incompatible in the production of works of art.

Medialab Prado’s Main site: http://medialab-prado.es/
Interactivos? main website: http://www.interactivos.org/
List of projects with proper descriptions: http://medialab-prado.es/article/interactivos08_-_juegos_de_la_vision

Medialab Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/medialab-prado/
Medialab Wiki: http://wiki.medialab-prado.es/index.php/Main_Page

Other lines of work, year round:
Visualizar: http://medialab-prado.es/visualizar
Inclusiva: http://medialab-prado.es/inclusiva-net
Commons Lab: http://medialab-prado.es/laboratorio_del_procomun
AVLAB: http://medialab-prado.es/avlab2

Michael Wesch To Discuss “The Anthropology of YouTube” at Library of Congress on June 23

Text source: Library of Congress

More video material has been uploaded to YouTube in the past six months than has ever been aired on all major networks combined, according to cultural anthropologist Michael Wesch. About 88 percent is new and original content, most of which has been created by people formerly known as “the audience.”

Wesch will discuss the three-year-old video-sharing Web site in a lecture titled “The Anthropology of YouTube” at 4 p.m. on Monday, June 23, in the Montpelier Room on the sixth floor of the Library of Congress’ James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

Sponsored by the Library’s John W. Kluge Center, the event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required. The lecture will be available at a later date as a webcast at www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/.


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